ARTYFACTS: Day 10 - ‘Shift’ – the audience did – out the door!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Day 10 - ‘Shift’ – the audience did – out the door!

Circus has become the domain of old communist countries (
Russia & China) or, in a magnificently awful and debased form, artless artists and crusties. This was completely awful. One man felt compelled to announce ‘This is absolute drivel‘ before storming out. He was genuinely angry. Others just left in silence or whispered their disbelief to those next to them.

Artless, dull and without any real sense of skill, the performers (I use this word hesitantly) swung and moved around like snails. No doubt someone will defend this as 'pushing the boundaries' or 'taking artistic risk'. This is wrong. I've see Butcher's work before - the audiences are bored. As for this audience, it was more than ‘losing the will to live’, it actually ‘induced the will to kill’. How about some artistic euthanasia? Work like this makes audiences feel they've been ripped-off.

'dullest performance I have seen'
If you think I’ve been hard – here's two other reviews:

‘This was possibly the dullest performance I have seen. After a vaguely promising start interlaced with some average humour I found myself watching a 'dancer' (and I use the term loosely in connection with this performance) spinning round, and round, and round, and round chasing a plank of wood on some ropes. This continued for what seems to be HOURS. No wonder the other performer chucked herself off the high beam...I empathised completely! I left early, with about 25% of the audience.’

'I have to admit I was really excited about seeing this show and seem to have been billed as spectacular. I am not sure I got it to be honest and have to say overall it was pretty rubbish. The venue was not great for a start this was mainly due to the fact that you had to sit on a wooden floor which was extremely uncomfortable as only a few seats were available. It seemed to start of positive and the crowd were laughing. I thought some of the dance at the start was intriguing but have to say not a great deal was based on gravity or levitation. A lot was on the floor with many of the same style moves and it all seemed a bit too surreal with no real story to tell. This was obviously noted as half the crowd were leaving mid performance. Most of the time it was people putting on harnesses which wasn't exciting and you could not hear any of the dialog which was just really inane chat. I couldn't bear it any longer and had to leave myself prior to nine due to bum ache boredom and embarrassment. £15 was a disgrace for this more like £3, Maybe it is just me being a philistine but I just did not get it at all would be interested to hear any other thoughts. nothing wowed me full stop!'


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